Scrapping free TV liscences for most OAPS'S over 75

Yes, but he was the one who did it, made it a condition of renewing the BBC charter,  twunt as he is

About fucking time isn't it. I find it genuinely unbelievable that my parents and their mates are eligible for free TV licences and bus passes given their relative wealth.

Childcare schemes are all based on income (eg you earn over £100k and you don't qualify for many of them), i don't see any reason why old age benefits shouldn't be the same. Funnily enough i never heard any old people moaning about the terrible hardship being applied to those who don't qualify for 30 free hours a week nursery costs.

Bus passes should not be means tested ever.  I have a bus pass and it saves me a fortune (disability rather than old age) but for many oaps the only way they can get around is by bus, few taxis in more rural areas, a wait of 3 hours isn’t unusual.  Bus services are bloody expensive though.  A nine mile journey from a nearby village into penzance? That’ll be £7.60 return thanks.

Leave bus passes alone.

Why is it bus services in rurual/semi rural are so bloody expensive, and that is if they arrive at all.

Met some friends a few weeks ago, from a village in or near Winchester and they think of nothing in waiting an hour for a bus. We had to wait ten minutes, and I suggested we get a cab, they looked at us like were loons.

how is this not the equivalent of a state pension benefit?  It's another benefit which people who have contributed to society over many years should obtain, regardless of means.  Just like bus passes.


I do think, however, that (as with the state pension) you should have to put in a minimum amount of NICs before you qualify for it. 

The TV licence is an expensive, pernicious, loose, regressive, ineffective Tax.

Expensive: £300m+ each year on its collection is a complete waste of money compared to taking the money directly out of the consolidated fund.  Running a national tax collection operation is completely outside the competence of the BBC and its governance arrangements

Pernicious: Investigatory powers should not be freely banded about. Again such activities are outside the BBC’s competence

Loose: Avoidance is rampant. Advances in technology make it very hard to keep up with what activity the charge is trying to tax

Regressive: its a large sum for households on minimum wage

Ineffective: The licence was introduced in an attempt to protect politicians from being seen to setting the BBC’s income level.  Despite all the convoluted accounting, everyone knows that it is a tax and that the Secretary of State sets the amount of the BBC’s income.   Why not just say so and save £300m+ each year?


It would be a good start if the public sector actually set money into separate pots for spending so that people could actually see what they're burning through.  But oh no - that's too much like fiscal discipline.  Even the Germans don't do it, apparently (which really surprised me). 

I agree with you in principle that hypothecated taxes can increase transparency and accountability.

Also, I am in favour of the user pays principle, and believe that people should contribute according to their ability.

However, I also hate waste and complexity. So there has to be a trade off. For many services the gains in transparency, accountability and fairness, from detailed allocations through means-testing or otherwise, is just not worth the cost and the complications, so it’s better to make free for all.

Ensuring efficiency, quality and innovation from the suppliers is a separate issue that means-testing doesn’t help.

ebitda10 Jun 19 17:58

Met some friends a few weeks ago, from a village in or near Winchester and they think of nothing in waiting an hour for a bus. We had to wait ten minutes, and I suggested we get a cab, they looked at us like were loons.


Tbf they were probably just looking at you like they thought you were a bit sad not to be able to wait 10 minutes for a bus and use the time to have a conversation or something.

I call bullsh*t

As if locals do not know the times of the buses 

People contribute to the State pension throughout their lives. Not so with the telly licence. 

What Wellerz said.

I do think that being able to watch TV is absolutely essential for older people who spend a lot of time at home and may not have regular company. But people in that position often have a whole host of complex needs which need to be met and paid for somehow.

Some people between 65 and 75 will be retired and already widowed/lonely/succumbing to dementia and unable to afford a TV licence. Some people are swimming in cash and still have a spouse and/or an active social life at 85 or 90.

I don't disagree with the idea that some people should be entitled to a free TV licence, because it is a relatively small amount of money which will make a huge difference to their quality of life. But it should be based on need, not age.

I really don't see why a young family struggling to make ends meet should have to pay for their own TV licence and bus fares, when a fit and healthy 75 year old with a big mortgage free house, a generous pension and a fair amount of cash in the bank should get it for free.

Of course benefits like tv license exemption and bus passes should be means tested.   


You complain about buses being expensive - one reason for that is that half the people that use them, do so for free.    My parents have two mortgage free properties two cars a six figure income and yet are entitled to free bus passes, tv licence exemption and a winter fuel payment.  It is absolutely absurd.

The beeb is in the death throes. And given what utter drivel they pass off as TV i'm not surprised. 

Auntie will be gone within a decade

the attitude of a person towards the BBC is a v good shorthand way of judging whether they are a twat or not

totally agreed. the sort of people that love the beeb is your typical wealthy older lady, living in a very large house, standing by her aga, reading the graun, and tutting at the unfairness of the world

you know, the sort that has a one of those regency townhouses in hampstead with a "save the NHS" placard in the window

funny, but also a bit tragic

You complain about buses being expensive - one reason for that is that half the people that use them, do so for free.   

Probably the other way around - the free passes are subsidising it for the rest of us.   In our experience of the concessionary passes, the bus companies will only sell you a single journey.  You can't get a free return or day ticket, even if it works out cheaper, and even if you are using multiple buses across your city.  As far as I can work out they don't care what your destination is, so will charge the flat fare whether it's 2 stops or 10.

It may be that this is all rendered moot by the funding agreement they have in place with Govt so that it doesn't matter (...), but the optics have always seemed bent up to me and that it seems like a nice little number for the operators.


My view is that all local public transport should be free to all frankly (I think that has already happened in some cities - probably Netherlands or Scandanavia lets face it) - paid for by increased road taxes -  the benefits for everyone would be enormous.

It's taking account of changes to the pensioner population.  It's not frugal little old ladies in rainhats any more.  It's (in fairly large part) wealthy baby boomers.   It's crazy that all of them get free bus passes and TV licences. Means testing it in some way (by attaching entitlement to pension credits) seems sensible.

Total agreement with Nexis. My mother's quality of life in terms of socialising, eating out and going away for weekends is much better than it was in her 50s

And she's not wealthy, she's a retired nurse. But her pension income is about 70% of what she earned and she has no mortgage. 

I love the BBC,  it annoys me sometimes, but I would not want to do without it

I was discussing this with my parents and pointed out that if they don't want to spend the money they can get a Netflix subscription for half the cost of the TV licence with plenty of stuff to watch and if they want the new they can just listen to the radio or go online.  I have wondered if I actually need a TV licence as there are only a handful of things I watch live now but keep it as you ostensibly need it to access Iplayer.


old fucks need to start paying their way. They didn't save or pay taxes at a level that would fund them "free" (or vote bribing) services for 30 years. 

they're not some sacrifice generation who fought the nazis because you have to 80 to have been born just as WW2 kicked off.

and on top of all this, all the BBC these days is dreary bollocks for all these old fucks

My mother loves the BBC for Inspecto Montalbano which is quite possibly the slowest most boring crime drama ever produced.

If you have a TV set capable of receiving a signal you have to have a tv licence even if you never watch it. And you have to have one even if you don't own a tv if you watch iplayer. 

That’s not right Linda.  You can get an exemption certificate if you only use it for games and a few other exceptions.  They may come around to check but you don’t actually need one so long as you declare it’s not for watching those channels within the required list live.  I did this when I was only using my tv for Xbox.

apaz last week we were thanking these people for fighting at D Day and this week we are taking their free telly away. 

I didn’t know they had toddlers fighting in the army. Did you?

My tv could watch bbc but I was only using it for gaming.  I got an exemption certificate.  Capable of signal or not, you can still get exemptions.

inevitably the 'save our TV licence for old people' Facebook campaigns have started without anyone bothering to look at the detail


What about the old winter fuel allowance?

My parents are looking at buying a modern flat that will hardly require heating.  On that basis they can donate their winter fuel allowance to me to help heat my larger property.